The crisis this time was avoided, albeit me having to pay a somewhat big price. However, we got instant results from it. My two moms won’t fight in my presence again, so we’ve avoided a war between the two races. I’ve almost finished what I needed to finish during my stay here, and therefore should plan for my next step; in other words, my journey to the North of the large canyon.
I’m more confident now after hearing Vyvyan’s explanation for why the North of the large canyon was so desolate. She explained that it was due to the flow of the elven spring water being blocked off from reaching there. Put another way, as long as mana can be restored there, life will also be restored there. The part I can’t wrap my head around is why the temperature there dropped again. If it’s because of mana, the mana there dried up centuries ago.
‘Why would the temperature drop again this year?’
‘It must be due to something on that side. It must involve elves since mana is involved. Otherwise, it must be another intelligent species. I’m very curious and very eager to meet with them. I have no way of communicating with trolls, and I don’t want to be involved with unintelligent creatures. I’ll just off them.’
‘As for the details, I’ll need to obtain information from Socina. Humans and elves haven’t been there for centuries. If Socina doesn’t have any information, either, I’ll have to try exploring it. What I want most right now – which also happens to be what I need most now – is a map. Without one, I’ll need to expend a lot of energy and time to explore the area.’
‘I don’t have that much time on my hands.’
From my side, Freya worriedly suggested, “Onii-sama, you have just recovered. In my opinion, I think it would be best for you to rest for a few more days before planning your trip to Socina.”
“I’m almost completely recovered. My only concern now is the full-moon night. I must return here on the full-moon night, so I need to make haste. If I don’t, I might not make it to Socina City in time… Things are troublesome without Luna here…”
I must return quickly or I’ll suffer immense pain on the full-moon night. I can’t use magic on the full-moon night, and I’ll need to resist the pain while controlling myself. I haven’t suffered that pain in a long time. Without Luna here with me anymore, I must return for Vyvyan to suck my mana out for me.
After a moment of pondering, Freya asked, “Is Luna the only one who can do it? The other elves can do it, can they not?”
“If it was so simple, I wouldn’t need Mom to help me every time. At the moment, there are only two people I know of whom can withstand my mana. One is my mom and the other is Luna. Others will suffer a pain worse than death if they absorbed my mana. As a matter of fact, their life may be in jeopardy.”
“I see… I shall do my best to make your schedule as simple as possible, then, Onii-sama. If possible, tomorrow we, actually, no, you should leave the day after.”
“Why the day after? Is something on tomorrow? Has my guard unit not reformed its ranks?”
I glanced at Gerald with a questioning gaze. He lingered for a moment before answering, “Based on what I can see, the guard unit has fully reformed its ranks, and the injured members have returned. Further, they are all training. If you need us to mobilise, we can mobilise at any time.”
“One more thing, Your Majesty. I would like to confirm something with you.” Gerald looked at me and with an uncertain tone, asked, “Your Majesty, if you need to head out, shall I accompany you as your bodyguard, or shall I stay in the palace as Madam Freya’s bodyguard?”
“Stay in the palace, of course.”
“Go with Onii-sama, of course.”
Freya and I answered at the simultaneously, causing the young man to be completely confused. He looked at us feeling dumbfounded. He looked back and forth between us with a flustered gaze. He stuttered, “Umm… umm… so what exactly shall I do? Your Majesty, can you give me a definitive command?”
“Onii-sama, I am staying in the palace. I will not be moving around carelessly. I have no use for this bodyguard, whereas you cannot be short one man, as you are outside. Onii-sama, for your safety’s sake, Gerald should go and guard you. I will be fine with the guards in the palace guarding me.”
Freya looked at me sincerely and continued, “Further, you are fond of putting yourself in danger. I think that having an extra guard will be an extra share of insurance.”
I looked at Freya and scrubbed her head roughly, “I have over a hundred guards with me. I don’t think that I’d recognise Gerald, even if he stood among them. I’m the one who can be with or without him; however, he’s a one-and-only bodyguard for you, so I can’t have him follow me. Freya, don’t go assuming that you’re safe here. Did you forget what happened to Luna? I thought the Royal Capital was the safest place in the world, but I lost one of the most important people to me. That’s why I won’t let that happen again, Freya. Whatever the case may be, Gerald is someone I relatively trust. I believe that he will protect you, even if it costs him his life.”
“That is right! Madam Freya, I would not hesitate to give my life for you!!”
“Okay, okay, okay, save the sweet talk for someone else to say. I’m not moved by what you say at all.”
Freya looked at Gerald emotionlessly, and then sighed. She then faced me and said, “But Onii-sama, there is, indeed, something for you to attend to tomorrow. Tomorrow is Troy City’s spring harvest festival. I hope that you can have fun with the Princess tomorrow, whether that is with Miss Nier or Miss Lucia. You did not relax with them when you came back this time. You need to head out again now. They may not have complained or anything, but I still think that you should have some fun with them before leaving.”
To be honest, I’m scared of festivals now. I lost Mera at the Deer Hunting Festival and nearly lost my own life, too. I lost Luna at the hunting season event and nearly lost my life again. I always get in trouble at every festival. It’s as if there’s always somebody out for my life at every festival. I only have a few of my loved ones and friends with me now. I don’t want to lose another one of them and sure as anything don’t want to deal with another similar turbulent situation again.
“It is all right. There will be no problems this time! I promise! This spring harvest festival is held within Troy City with the people holding it themselves and is intended to add a celebration to Troy City; hence, it will be fine. Nobody from outside will be participating this time. Everyone participating is a resident of Troy City while our guards are in charge of safety. In order to ensure our safety, I had a part in virtually every aspect of the festival. There will not be any problems this time, Onii-sama; I guarantee it. There will be no safety issues.”
Freya looked at me nervously. As she spoke, she used hand gestures as though she was afraid that I would refuse.
I thought about it for a moment.
‘I’m not worried if it’s just people from Troy City, because I’m highly respected here. Besides cancelling the people’s ridiculous debts, I even provided them with work and crops to plant. Subsequently, they have no reason to harm me. Moreover, my guards are with me this time, so I don’t think there will be any major incidents this time.’
‘The last two times, my safety was in my moms’ hands as I was in their cities. This time, however, Freya is in charge of my safety. I have no reason to suspect Freya. None at all.’
I nodded, “All right, then. I shall have fun around tomorrow.”
Freya seemed to let out a big sigh of relief when she saw me nod. She then looked at me again, but cheerfully this time. She exclaimed, “Please look forward to the celebration tomorrow, then, Onii-sama!”